The consulting engineering firm Barry Isett & Associates was looking for a way to improve file access across its organization and simplify its storage ecosystem. The large design files at the core of its business taxed the firm’s WAN acceleration technologies. Latency issues were frustrating end users, and design teams needed protected, high-performance access to files from multiple locations – including client sites. Using Nasuni Cloud File Services, the firm now benefits from enterprise-grade performance in every office and a cost savings of 50%.
The Limits of WAN Acceleration
BIA’s engineers, designers, landscape architects and surveyors are distributed across multiple offices and often collaborate on shared projects. The firm’s field professionals spend time at client sites, where connectivity problems translate into slow or restricted VPN access. As a result, BIA’s two-person IT team was struggling to maintain fast access to shared files across the organization. Backup was a challenge as well.
At first, the firm had to rely on a local non-IT person to oversee tape rotation at branches. The company eventually centralized storage through WAN acceleration. This proved effective for a few years, but as BIA engineers and designers came to rely more on Revit and 3D modeling, file sizes grew from 3MB to 300MB. Users began to experience frustrating delays when accessing and even saving files. “As files got bigger, our appliances weren’t really as effective as they were when we first got started. It severely impacted how teams work. There were a lot of delays. Then when we looked at the cost of upgrading our WAN acceleration, the budget was going to be astronomical.”
Overall, storage is growing at 500GB per year and increasingly quickly. Some of the problems included:
- Poor Performance: Slow access speeds inhibited end user productivity
- Accelerating WAN Costs: Increasing bandwidth by upgrading from MPLS to fiber was too costly to consider
- IT Backup Pain: Managing backup across disparate servers was becoming increasingly complex and time-consuming
- Limited Mobile Access: Field professionals were not able to get to their files remotely
The system had to change. The IT team considered upgrading its WAN acceleration solution, but the promised 25 MB file access speed was not worth the $100,000 investment.
The Nasuni Solution
Now that BIA has deployed Nasuni, migrating 7 TB of data into the service, each branch office has its own edge appliance, matched specifically to the performance needs of that location. Nasuni gives BIA fast access to large design files, and since BIA was able to maintain its Microsoft DFS architecture to front the storage, the users did not even notice a difference.
The benefits to BIA’s designers and its IT staff include:
- Improved Collaboration: Files are accessible from each branch with local performance
- Performance: The Nasuni Edge Appliances is designed for heavy workloads, so all end users enjoy enterprise-grade access to Revit and 3D files
- Mobile Access: Field professionals can securely access and read files while at client sites
- Consolidated Storage: IT has traded complex islands of storage for a single, unified solution
- Simplified Management: Nasuni is easily controlled from headquarters through one simple administrative interface
- Strong, Automatic Protection: Frequent versioning enables fast restores – IT no longer has to worry about remote office backup
- Reasonable Costs: Nasuni’s all-in-one storage solution eliminates the need for backup and WAN acceleration upgrades
- Unlimited Scalability: BIA will be able to grow capacity on-demand
Why BIA Selected Nasuni
To meet the needs of its engineers and designers, Barry Isett & Associates was facing an expensive and inefficient WAN acceleration upgrade. The firm chose Nasuni instead, saving the $100,000 investment as well as saving an estimated 50% relative to its previous file data storage solution. Nasuni offers unlimited scalability to accommodate accelerating storage growth combined with enterprise- grade performance and global file access for end users in every office. The firm’s engineers are no longer plagued by latency, so they can focus on what they do best and IT has eliminated the headaches associated with managing storage and backup remotely.
“It’s a whole new model of how to do things now that we can have the same data replicated and synced across all the offices. The best part is that it serves files simply and more efficiently than our previous infrastructure.”
Jim Bonczek, IT Manager, Barry Isett & Associates